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Finance

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Staff

  • Ron Ahlers, Chief Financial OfficerRon Ahlers, Chief Financial Officer
  • Lesley Pelka, CPA, Accounting Supervisor
  • Luisa Barancik, Senior Accounting Specialist
  • Cedric Henry, Grant/Contract Administrator
  • Yadira G. Zimmerman, Executive Assistant
  • Sandy Smith, Accounting Specialist
  • Jeff Estrada, Accounting Specialist
  • Carson Lysik, Accounting Specialist

 

Department Profile

The Finance Department is responsible for providing accurate and timely information regarding the City's financial affairs.  To achieve this, the Department provides the following services:

  • Collection of revenue – Revenue is collected from a variety of sources including tax such as sales tax, property tax, and utility user’s tax. Other sources of revenue include grant funds, charges for services, interest earnings, and intergovernmental transfers.
  • Distribution of funds – payments are made to vendors for services and material received. An improved system of issuing checks made the release of funds a reality on a weekly basis. Employee payroll checks and related benefits are paid on a bi-weekly basis.
  • Proper transaction recording – detailed accounting is achieved by recording all financial transactions in the City’s financial system using an 11-digit numbering scheme. Each of these General Ledger Numbers are unique, are individually budgeted, and performance against these budgets are tracked.
  • Financial reporting – Specially designed reports, including the Budget Performance Report (BPR) and the Landscape Maintenance District (LMD) Statements are prepared and distributed monthly. Both reports identify the approved budget for line items and performance relative to that budget.

Other reports include the Check Register which clearly identifies City expenditures; and a Contract Listing which lists all active City contracts, their expiration dates and total amounts spent. Annual reports include the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR), a report that regularly receives awards for outstanding financial reporting from both the California Society of Municipal Finance Officers (CSMFO) and the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA).

  • Budget administration – A biennial budget is prepared for Council review and approval on a yearly basis. The approved budget is distributed and made available for public review and reference via the internet. Internally, the City’s executive staff manages their department’s respective budgets mostly using the BPR’s.
  • Debt management – Outstanding debt is administered in full accordance with the Official Statements of the City’s bond issuances. Accordingly, principal and interest payments are made based on the Base Rental Payment Schedules and all Disclosure Statements are regularly prepared and issued. From time-to-time, outstanding City debt is analyzed and opinions are provided to Council regarding possible refunding efforts.
  • Investment of City funds – the City’s idle cash is invested in strict accordance with the City’s Investment Policy with particular emphasis on the following criteria:

1) Safety,
2) Credit risk,
3) Market risk,
4) Liquidity, and
5) Yield.

The City currently invests in the Local Agency Investment Fund (LAIF); Certificates of Deposit (CDs); and securities issued by the U. S. Government or an agency of the U. S. Government.

  • Grant / Contract Administration – Federal, State, and Local grants are administered daily to help speed up the process of reimbursement for work already completed and spent by the City on grant projects previously awarded. Additionally, effort is made to help secure renewed grant money for projects the City would like to complete.
  • Risk Management – Policies and procedures are established and stringently followed to identify and minimize the City’s exposure to risk and potential financial loss. All contracts are reviewed for adequacy and compliance with these policies, and special training classes are held to heighten City employee’s and volunteer’s awareness of certain high-risk issues.
  • Purchasing – Items required to run and operate the City are procured through the Finance Department in accordance with Municipal Code Section
    3.40 – Purchasing System.